Research Theme


Since its establishment in 2001, Toyo University’s Center for Sustainable Development Studies (hereinafter “the Center”) has conducted research aiming to help solve challenges facing the international community, especially in developing countries, under the theme, “Development of methods to assist endogenous development in developing areas in Asia.” In 2015, we adopted a new theme for our research, “Developing international contribution methods that are both localized for Asia and Africa and suitable for a globalized world.” International contribution is thus one of our subthemes.
Under the subtheme of international contribution, and based on the research results that the Center has so far accumulated, we will explore how we can further develop our findings and apply them in the area of international contribution. Specifically, we will further pursue our studies based on our past findings regarding eco-friendly development mechanisms and methods of endogenous development to examine what aid methods will facilitate development mechanisms, what frameworks are required to foster human resources necessary for the promotion of development, and other problems by focusing on on-site activities. Additionally, we hope to initiate practical projects for international contribution.


Establishment of Low-carbon, Sound Material and Water Cycle Society through Endogenous Development 
A lot of studies has been carried out toward low-carbon, sound material and water cycle society in developing countries. However the most of those studies focused on top-down approaches to address these issues. In this study, the potentials of bottom-up approaches by residents will be discussed from the view point of endogenous development.

Toshiyuki OKAMURA

Urban Transport System in Developing CitiesCities in developing countries are struggling to handle poor road space and urban public transport, traffic congestion and air pollution resulted from an increase of private vehicles. This study focuses on urban public transport planning and operation, and management measures of private vehicles in developing cities and aims to clarify provisions for the current urban transport issues considering the local specific conditions.


A Study on the Local Society and Self-organization in Developing Countries 
How to promote self-organization and resource mobilization is a key for success to the participatory rural development in developing countries. It is critical to grasp the structure as well as characteristics of each local society in this process. This study aims to explore the relationships between characteristics of local societies and self-organization in different rural areas.

Ryo MATSUMARU(Theme coordinator)

Research on Assistance Approach toward Stronger Nation, Town and Community against DisastersDisaster is one of the factors to hinder the development and may lead the social instability. Therefore, to reduce the damage caused by the disaster and accelerate the recovery from the disaster has become one of the development issues.  In this research, targeting the developing countries that are usually facing constrains in various resources, assistance approaches toward stronger nation, town and community against disasters will be examined from multi-discipline aspects.


Community Develpoment and Governance in Asian Cities

―Under Construction―


Development of Social Policies in Devloping CountriesBasic information and statistical data gathering about the establishment, introducing and consolidation of social protection systems in Asian and African developing countries is addressed. Especially issues of African countries are focused on because of information scarcity in Japan. Analytical perspectives are adaptation of changing industrial structure and family structure, developing profession system and related education, and extraction of challenges. Case study analysis will be tried for examining spontaneous development of welfare society and external aid.

Namiko NUMAO

Economics,Economic polic

―Under Construction―

Ayako TOKO(Theme coordinator)

Sustainable Tourism, as a Tool for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources 
None of economic activities can survive without the benefit of biodiversity. The sustainable use of natural environment and its resources is therefore a critical issue in any countries. Given that conservation always needs substantial funds and that it should give financial benefits for local communities, sustainable tourism could be one of effective tools for wise use of natural resources. The research focuses on some cases from Asian countries in order to investigate benefits and challenges of sustainable tourism for conservation.


To develop endogenously and sustainably by addressing social problems such as poverty and economic inequality, developing countries, rather than being completely dependent on external aid, need to facilitate the emergence of businesses that can help return profits to local communities. Recently, however, there have been many reports showing that development schemes introduced by these countries have instead caused profits to flow out to developed countries, making it impossible for people in developing countries to escape from the trap of poverty. Academic research conducted in collaboration with industries on the emergence of individual businesses is therefore required to promote the emergence of businesses that will help return profits to people in developing countries, as opposed to pursuing research that merely serves the purposes of industry. The sustainable rather than short-lived development of this type of business needs our ongoing attention as a matter of ethics and the social responsibility of developed countries. The business sector of the Center will thus encourage all of our researchers to pursue research in their own field of study in line with the common theme of ethics and social responsibility in contemporary tourism development.

Hidetoshi KITAWAKI(Director / Theme coordinator)

A Study on Appropriate Technology in Environmental Sanitation 
International cooperation projects on water supply, sanitation and solid waste management are carried out in developing countries. However, they becomes successful only when considerations are made on technical, economical and cultural constraints. Therefore, this research aims to develop appropriate technology through the implementation of aid projects, which works under such situation.


Social Responsibility of the Tourism Industry 
The tourism industry has regarded tourist resources as “utilizable materials”. However, such kind of approach by outsiders makes tourist resources exhausting and they look for new other resources to be able to utilize. To avoid such tragic situation, it is important not to discuss dichotomy between tourism development and protection, but to discuss how to protect resources with tourism development. That is why the tourism industry has to fulfill their social responsibility.

Keisuke HANAKI

Environmental policy and environmental impact assessment

―Under Construction― 

Jun-ichiro TOKUE

Hospitality Management 
In recent research, I consider Hospitality not as “Omotenashi”, but a kind of Relationship Management by the methods of Marketing. From this perspective, we can enlarge the system of hospitality from the phenomena of services to the many aspects of social issues.


How should we think about the current situation of Africa? Some people predict an optimistic future because of the recent economic growth and the positive trend in private investment. For example, the Intelligent Unit of Economist reports that such African cities as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Cairo, and Nairobi are among the 40 fastest-growing cities in the world. On the other hand, we must know that economic inequality is also increasing at a rapid pace: UN-Habitat includes such African cities as Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, and Nairobi among the five most unequal cities.
So, how should we approach to a better future for Africa? The possible answers will converge in two kinds of approaches: cross-sectional rather than single-sectional approaches; and the approaches of finding solutions within local wisdom rather than relying on conventional theories. Yet, it is easier said than done. We will move forward finding clues to Africa’s future, starting with development, poverty, international relations, water, hygiene, higher education, and community building.

Norihisa SHIMA(Theme coordinator)

Machizukuri-based Urban Planning in Asia and AfricaIn Asia and Africa, modern urban planning, mostly imported from the West, seldom works against the rapid urbanization, and informal settlements keeps forming and expanding. Yet, in some of these informal settlements, often regarded as “informal” in the negative way from the viewpoint of modern urban planning, residents are actively engaged in “machizukuri (participatory urban planning).” And this “machizukuri” would overcome the challenge of modern urban planning, indeed. This research is intended to consider the prospects toward scaling up “machizukuri”, taking several cases in Asia and Africa.


Transformative Research and Education Partnerships between Developed and Developing Countries This research project investigates development assistance partnerships in research and education of higher education institutions between developed and developing countries. The purpose is to deepen an understanding of the structural dynamics of the linkages and explore potentials for creating a better form of mutuality.

Noritsugu FUJIMOTO

Economics, Economic policy, urban system, economic geography, risk reduction

―Under Construction―


Development and changes in women's life course in Africa

―Under Construction―